Drugs smuggler dies from cocaine overdose


A man believed to be an international drugs courier died in Limerick yesterday from an accidental overdose of cocaine which he had been attempting to smuggle to Holland.

The 19-year-old. believed to be from Estonia, had swallowed a kilo of cocaine before boarding the KLM flight from Peru to Amsterdam.

He died after some of the 94 capsules of the drug in his stomach leaked into his system during the flight.

The aircraft was diverted to Shannon Airport after the man complained of feeling unwell and admitted he had swallowed drugs.

The man was taken from the aircraft by ambulance to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick, where he died yesterday morning.

Doctors discovered in the man's stomach 94 capsules containing cocaine paste, a very potent and highly toxic form of the drug.

Detectives estimate the cocaine paste was around 80 per cent pure and would have been diluted four-fold for sale on the streets.

Drug trafficking gangs re-convert cocaine paste back to powder by baking it.

Gardaí suspect that the man travelled regularly on the transatlantic route to Amsterdam but that the drugs he was carrying were intended for the Spanish market.

They suspect he was due to fly on to Spain from Amsterdam.

The man's family in the Baltic state has been contacted, and relatives will be asked to come to Ireland to identify him, a Garda spokesman said.

Gardaí have made inquiries with Europol and Interpol.